Brian and I are a good team when we travel. He likes the countryside, wild camping and getting his hands dirty. I like those things too, but once in a while I twist his arm to take me into the city for a show.
We’re both perfectly happy knowing I am not a shopper.
One of the things we both love to do is ride horses, so when we have the chance we take it. I grew up on horseback, being back in the saddle always makes me smile and brings back those great memories of summers spent trail riding with friends. The smell of the saddle always makes me think of those days polishing our tack and getting dressed up for a competition. The smell of the horses, the leather, the sound of hoofs on the trail, it’s all tied together into good memories.
This time our chance was just outside the coastal town of Rio das Ostras in Brazil. We found Rancho Sagitario with the help of our very good friend who’s Portuguese is much better than ours. She arranged a ride through the Atlantic rainforest in the foothills of the mountains.
We’ve actually been to the ranch twice. The second time we were lucky enough to take my mother and my two kids with us. I love taking family members along when we travel, and to watch their faces as they get to experience these great new places with us.
First we rode through the ranch fields, scaring cattle away, waving at the friendly neighbors, and watching their dogs bark at us as we passed by their territory.
Brian never had a chance to ride as a kid, so he’s making up for lost time.
Our horses tacked up, our butts in the saddle and our guide out in front, we hit the trail and headed for those mountains.
Passing by the other curious horses as we left the ranch lands and aimed for the forest.
You can’t see him from here, but our guide was out in front with a machete, clearing the way. I stayed well back in the crowd, always happy to let other people be the spider web breakers.
And always with my eyes open because those spiders webs are strong. I don’t know how this one survived the four riders before me, but I had to duck to get out of her way.
Out of the forest and into another open field, we came across more horses quietly living in their pastures.
Nearly three hours of riding had taken us through fields, up hills, through the forest and down the other side. As we circled back and rode through the tunnel under the road to return to the ranch our horses knew they were heading home. We let them run. How great is it that I got to watch my very American mom and kids as they ran on horseback through the Brazilian countryside with those huge grins on their faces? Priceless.
The afternoon only cost us about US$200 for eight of us. I think that’s the best price we’ve ever seen for a three hour ride, and well worth it. We didn’t manage to spot any monkeys in the trees (the are around, but were hiding that day), but take a look at this big one after he got off his horse.
We all walked like that for about two hours afterwards.
We were all smiling like that too.
On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google map.